Pandora: A fee to turn up? What would Sir Alan say?

Whoops!
Pandora suspects someone might have got the wrong end of the fame stick, so to speak.

As anyone who owns a television will know, Philip Taylor, is the not-terribly-bright candidate in The Apprentice currently embroiled in a romance with the considerably more promising, and not at all unphotogenic, Kate Walsh.

Tragically, Taylor was booted off Sir Alan Sugar's programme last week after dismally failing to flog a second-hand carpet. Not that he seems too worried, indeed, he has found plenty to entertain him elsewhere: a scantily-clad photoshoot in Heat magazine and a heart-rending account in The News Of The World of his romance with Ms Walsh. But it appears he may be developing airs just a tad above his pay grade. We are told he was invited to walk the red carpet at Mayfair's Curzon cinema before the London premiere of Martina Cole's The Take – but refused, unless he was paid a fee.

"You have to admire the chutzpah and of asking, but to be honest it was an honour that he was even invited," says our mole.

The less mercenary guests included Cherie Lunghi and Michelle Collins. "Funnily enough," adds our mole, "None of the premiere guests asked for, or received, a penny for turning up."

I'm alive, notes Attenborough

"I wish to make it clear that I am very much alive and kicking," a defiant Lord Richard Attenborough announced yesterday, in an attempt to deflect rumours that he was too unwell to continue working.

Apparently, the legendary auteur, 85, had begun to fear the persistent rumours would have a knock-on effect on his career. "To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports regarding the demise of my career have been greatly exaggerated," insisted the peer. "It remains my intention to take up offers."

Whelan is called back to the bar

Charlie Whelan has been conspicuously absent of late – seeking refuge, perhaps, from the messy aftermath of "Smeargate" (he was copied into Damian McBride's offending emails). Alas, no longer. Brown's belligerent ex-spinner was seen enjoying the Commons bar on Wednesday, at the launch of Whitehall: The Street That Shaped A Nation by Colin Brown, formerly of this parish. Also in attendance: MPs David Davis and Harry Cohen, recently enjoying their own expenses-related notoriety. Did they ask Charlie for advice, we wonder?

Insult to injury, Dave? Maybe...

Pandora very much hopes that Dave Gahan isn't in too much pain.

As you may already have heard, the Depeche Mode frontman has been forced to cancel several of his band's performances after being suddenly hospitalised. Now we hear of another "incident" afflicting the poor man. Apparently, the bed-ridden singer is being serenaded by Israel's answer to Robbie Williams (could you think of a more wonderful concept? Pandora certainly couldn't).

Feast your eyes, then, upon Aviv Geffen (slogan: "If there is God, I hope he is playing guitar"). Let us pray the performance has prompted a speedy recovery from Gahan. Who knows, there may be an encore in order.

Blogger Watson logs off (again)

Just as Charlie Whelan starts showing his face again, Pandora has noticed another notable absence from the public domain: the Labour MP Tom Watson, who appears to have taken a hiatus from the blogosphere. The usually hyperactive blogger has virtually disappeared – only weeks after breaking his prolonged silence brought on by "Smeargate". Surely no coincidence that this self-imposed gag arrives during the week in which he is caught claiming expenses on pizza wheels, hotels and toiletries.

pandora@independent.co.uk

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform